Would Trayvon Martin have been killed if he lived in a "Compassionate City"? (www.charterforcompassion.org)
While the term has many meanings, to our congregation, a compassionate city is a community that looks out for its children and youth. As adults, it is our duty to seek justice and opportunity for our children. It's not enough to be saddened or angered about our educational system or our justice system. We need to be asking what we can do to nurture all our children and youth.
We can be curious instead of suspicious of malicious intent when we see young people, of any color, walking our streets. The vast majority of our population, young people included, is not composed of wrong-doers. They are our neighbors. We are learning that a compassionate community looks at itself as a whole and does not view its youth as threats, but as assets to be developed.
A brochure at the Beaufort Police Department titled, "How can I protect kids from crime and violence?" and published by the National Crime Prevention Council in concert with the National Sheriffs' Association, gives parents practical suggestions for protecting and cultivating the lives of their children. As part of our congregation's social justice effort, we plan to print and distribute more brochures.
How else can we all help make Beaufort become a truly "Compassionate City" that offers a healthy and nurturing environment for children?
Barbara Banus, chairman
Social and Environmental
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship